Book: So Far
by Tara Milroy / August 16, 2013
The life of New Zealand-based designer David Trubridge, known for his fluid forms and organic shapes, is beautifully recounted in So Far, his introspective autobiography published earlier this year.


(Click the images below for full sized images)

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The spirit of Trubridge's story is the way that nature has shaped his life, work, and philosophies. His journey illustrates the interconnected fabric of his experiences, his works, and the natural world, and the ways by which these inseparable elements have worked in tandem throughout his life.

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Trubridge's awe-inspiring descriptions illustrate his profound admiration for nature. He describes, 'Fire is cleansing light, the rising sun, the flooding warmth of an exciting new day,' immersing you, the reader in the natural phenomena he experiences. This is intensified by the sublime full colour photographs, most of which were taken by him and his wife, Linda.

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So Far is divided into chapters, each represented by a natural element that characterised the particular period of Trubridge's life and work. From his early years in England, to his cross-ocean sailing and island living with his young family, to his arrival in New Zealand and his rise as international designer, to the things he's learned since and his plans for the future, the elements are deeply interwoven.

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Throughout the book, and also reflected in the title, there is a feeling of constant motion, implying that everything is essentially a work in progress. Like nature, everything is constantly moving, growing, and evolving. Trubridge writes, "Water rules fear. We are fearful of change, but our lives are more effective when we learn to go with the flow.' There is a sense that Trubridge has allowed life itself to take him on this journey, and not surprisingly many of his works reflect flow and movement in their forms, shapes, and lightness.

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Trubridge's story is interspersed with various tangents, like his thoughts on craft, art, design principles, and people who influenced him. Some of these asides create social context for the reader, while others give insight to his take on several ideals of art and design.

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Every chapter of the book has its own dream-like quality, and each is essentially a story of a man fulfilling his dreams, culminating in his contemplations on the quest for an environmentally sustainable re-design of our way of life. So Far not only tells the life story of an influential designer, but also reminds us what it is to be human - to create art, to feel humility, to understand other people - all within the wonders of natural world we inhabit. Available at Amazon.

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